In conversation: Chris Ames, new Commercial Manager, OSI Electronics UK

Chris Ames, Commercial Manager, OSI Electronics UK, St Neots.

Chris Ames has been appointed new Commercial Manager for St Neots based OSI Electronics UK, a contract electronics manufacturer (CEM).

He joined OSI from CamdenBoss in Mildenhall where he was Area Sales Manager.

"I’ve been in the electronics industry – mostly in manufacturing – since leaving school," says Chris.

"I started on the shop floor at 16 on a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) programme assembling electronic products, before moving into purchasing, production management, account management and eventually business development, seeing the whole process through for the customer from quote to delivery, including bare board manufacture and the supply chain.

"It’s an experience which offers great value to our customers, enabling me to help them find the best way to manufacture their products. This is particularly useful for customers who are placing multi-product, high variant and high value orders – typical OSIE UK customers, as I’ve discovered!”

Moving your business

"With contract manufacturing there’s always a reason for people to want to move their business.  It’s usually one of three things:

  • Outgrowing their existing supply chain, so they need somebody with the capacity and capability to manage things.
  • They’re having quality issues with their existing supply chain, so they need someone who can cope with that side of things.
  • Or it’s a matter of feeling they are not getting a fair deal or the right price.

"It does show in the real world things do change, people change, circumstances change and expectations change, which is dangerous for the existing supplier and an opportunity for a new supplier.  It’s also why companies with the experience and technology, like OSI, exist – and why I’m here to ensure customers, old and new, remain wedded to us because they feel the fit is good."

‘Fit’ is an important point: OSIE UK is a £20m turnover company.  "We have the systems and structures in place for managing large levels of business," says Chris.  "We’re also very thorough in the way we go about doing things

“Equally, we’re flexible and able to react quickly: if a product in production requires a different battery, for instance, we can accommodate that change – without much of a blink!

Why OSI?

"We are part of a very large group with no cash problems, we have plenty of manufacturing capacity in the UK and, crucially for customers who themselves are growing, we have factories in America, Malaysia and Indonesia with considerably more capacity for super-high volume manufacture.  OSI is a safe pair of hands.

“Covid, Brexit and a recent fire at a Japanese semiconductor plant are having a negative impact on component supply – having the capacity to forward buy on customers’ behalf to secure stocks is an advantage for them.

"And, in comparison with many of our competitors, we have two other key strengths: a focus on PCB assembly (‘PCBA’) and therefore everything associated with the ‘pure’ electronic side of a product, which is its heart, and then the box build / mechanical assembly – an old passion of mine.

"My business hero?  Because it’s tech, for me it has to be Lord Sugar for his business acumen – and because he revolutionised consumer electronics with his Amstrad system.”

Contract Chris Ames at OSI Electronics UK – 01480 222 480 /


Contract Electronic Manufacturer - PCB assembly, Fast-Track Prototype, NPI, Production volumes, Box Build/High Level Assembly,ISO13485, ISO9001 accredited. Local manufacturing with a global footprint. We work with companies of all sizes and requirements, from start-ups to Multinationals. UK & SEA facilities.

OSI Electronics (UK) Ltd